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What Are The Best Supplements For Enriched Health?

The ‘rules’ of the health and fitness industry can get pretty overwhelming. In one fitness magazine or online article you will read everything possible that is great about one ‘product’ or ‘system to exercise with’, who the best and most ‘expert’ expert trainers out there are and then read another source and everything gets slammed as the ‘worst possible thing to do’. After 20 years, I have seen some fairly outlandish claims come and then go, anyone remember the ‘maple syrup cleanse’?…LOL. It can get fairly confusing and as a Coach I have had to ‘educate’ most of my clients over the years on the best ways of discerning the truth from the plain ol’ dangerous.

When it comes to supplements I have to admit I have not always been popular amongst my PT contemporaries nor the companies they rep for. Why? Because the supplement industry on the whole in the fitness scene is a con. Yes, you read that correctly, its a big fat CON! Protein powders pre-workouts micro-filtration, super charged, super hyped up BS. Interestingly a soon as the trend for vegan came to the collective consumer conscienceness, many of the dairy based supplement companies that had been preaching animal bi-product for decades, suddenly went ‘vegan’ claiming there was no other way, all priced accordingly, of course.

So suffice to say I am not a huge fan of the ‘sporting supplement products out there, because apart from the over priced and misrepresented product content in most items on the market, for those that are legitimate and do what they claim, most of the consumers simply do not work hard enough to warrant taking any of them. Unless you are a pro or semi-pro level athlete, taxing your body to the extreme levels in conditions that sap precious resources that need the replenishment and quickly, really apart from the ego boost of being like your idols, the average gym goer, crossfitter or endurance participant needs to focus on better nutrition generally and skip the ‘supplement focus all together’. Get the basics right and then move to the next stage of progression, trying to build the 8th storey on a building founded on quicksand is just daft.

Having said that, there are some ‘health help supplements’ that can and do set your gut health and therefore your entire system back on track and producing positive health as well as performance results.

What follows are my list of key supplement s to support your system no matter what your goals. Athletes, non-athletes, those between 25-99+, male or female could benefit from most items on this list. *if you have a preexisting medical condition, are taking prescriptive medications or have allergies please consult your Gp prior to taking on any new regimens in diet or physical transformations.

L-Glutamine 10g; 2-3x per day

L-Glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids that are the building blocks for all protein in the body.In human blood, L-Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid. This compound is regarded as a non-essential amino acid, since the body does have the ability to synthesise some L-Glutamine on its own.However, there are certain situations where it becomes conditionally essential. Good examples of this might be during intensive athletic training or competition, or even in certain gastrointestinal disorders. Maintains healthy gut wall integrity for transport of nutrients across gastro-intestinal tract and the cell wall for nutrient absorption. When glycogen is depleted during intensive training, L-glutamine becomes the energy source, preserving precious your muscle.

L-carnitine & Chromium Picolinate

Accelerate fat burning and glycogen uptake/stabilisers

Vit C [10-20mg per day]

Fat burner and cortisol scavenger, reduces inflammatory response in cells

Zinc

An immunity booster, heal and repair, hormone function

http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/812/Top_Ten_Benefits_of_Zinc.aspx

Magnesium- [100mg 3x per day]

Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body, being required for more than 325 enzymatic reactions, including those involved in the synthesis of fat, protein and nucleic acids, neurological activity, muscular contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism.

Ashwaganda– [300 – 1000 mg per day]

Ashwagandha is a plant or, more specifically, a root that has been called “Indian Ginseng.”This medicinal root has been used traditionally throughout the centuries in Indian medicine. Considered to be an adaptogen, it helps to improve the body’s reaction to stress and facilitate learning and memory. Ashwagandha herb extract acts as a powerful anti-oxidant agent.It is known to scavenge free radicals and remove them from all parts of the body including the brain and major organs. This, in turn, helps to reduce the amount of oxidative stress and damage that can occur within the body.Studies have also shown that the root extract of the Ashwagandha plant also enhances the ability of macrophage immune cells to destroy pathogens.Additional studies show Ashwagandha to have a number of anti-microbial properties. This includes the ability to counteract or even destroy harmful bacteria like Salmonella, an organism associated with food poisoning.

GABA- [250 – 1500 mg per day]

Many strength training athletes use GABA for bodybuilding purposes including developing more lean muscle mass, decreasing fat stores, and naturally stimulating the synthesis of human growth hormone (HGH). GABA stands for gamma-butyric acid; it is a non-proteinogenic amino acid (an amino acid not used to build proteins) that is primarily used to accommodate efficient 

neurotransmission.As a brain and CNS depressant, GABA calms the brain and promotes relaxation. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates over-excitement in the brain and acts as a sedativeA GABA deficiency can cause an array of negative health effects, including not being able to sleep, heal and/or recover. GABA supplements for bodybuilding are used by athletes to achieve their training goals faster and promote muscle recovery and growth. In older individuals, HGH will not cause height growth because the growth plates in the bones have closed. However, this hormone will increase calcium retention in the bones and strengthen them.It also promotes increased protein synthesis, increased muscle mass, stimulates immune function, and promotes the burning of fat. Taking GABA to increase HGH levels can promote many positive changes in the body that are beneficial for bodybuilders and athletes.

Vit D- [supplementation and dietary intake to provide at least 1,500 – 2,000 IU/day.]

It is long recognised that adequate vitamin D status is necessary for both bone and skeletal health. Emerging research, however, also indicates the important role of vitamin D for non-skeletal functions including skeletal muscle growth, immune function, inflammatory modulation and athletic performance (Larson-Meyer & Willis, 2010). In addition, research is finding that vitamin D deficiency increases risk for numerous chronic and inflammatory diseases including hypertension, cardio-metabolic disease, arthritis and certain cancers (Holick, 2007) which can occur even in athletes.

Glucosamine Sulfate-Joint care and cartilage repair

Vit K– Potassium for hydration and heart / muscle filament contractile function

** As always we recommend following a balanced macro-nutrition program, that supports your training and body composition goals. Deprivation is never advised, be it through caloric deficits or macro/micro nutrient elimination. For more information on how to cycle carbohydrates & fats on a weekly basis over a 6 week block for optimal outcomes consult your trainer.  Health specific concerns or if you are on any pharmaceuticals consult your Valetudo Group Specialist Coach and your Gp.

For more information on your best nutrition program or how to make your meals work for you to improve vitality, energy, relieve stress, increase performance and loose fat, CONTACT US initial 20mins consultations are not charged.

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Its not just about Muscle Gains

As we farewell a long weekend and welcome another week (albeit shorter) at the office, here is something to consider for those of you sitting at your desk powering hour after hour away at the computer.

Maintaining a mobile, strong and healthy body is not just about the muscles it’s about the FASCIA. Sitting for long periods in a stooped posture, coupled with navigating stress can cause damage to the neurological system. In turn impacting hormone function, metabolism of sugars and causing chronic pain.

In times of extreme stress paying special attention to how you are managing the body, managing the stress and maintaining a platform from which you can achieve balance with your system is critically important.

If you are interested in the role of fascia in fitness training, the following questions lead to new take-aways: 

Most injuries are connective-tissue (fascial) injuries, not muscular injuries—so how do we best train to prevent and repair damage and build elasticity and resilience into the system? 

There are 10 times more sensory nerve endings in your fascia than in your muscles; therefore, so how do you train the fascia as well as the muscles?

Traditional anatomy texts of the muscles and fascia are inaccurate, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of our movement function—so how can we work with fascia as a whole, as the “organ system of stability”?

Consciously or unconsciously, you have been working with fascia for your whole life—it is unavoidable. Now, however, new research is reinforcing the importance of fascia and other connective tissue in functional training (Fascia Congress 2009). 

Fascia is much more than “plastic wrap around the muscles.” Fascia is the organ system of stability and mechano-regulation (Varela & Frenk 1987). Understanding this may revolutionize our ideas of “fitness.” Research into the fascial net upsets both our traditional beliefs and some of our new favorites as well. The evidence all points to a new consideration within overall fitness for life—hence the term fascial fitness. Lets look at a few key ways you can assist your system through stress and work for optimal physical wellbeing.

Take time to get treatment: Give a little back and help the nervous system heal and repair:

“Myofascial release is a manipulative treatment that attempts to release tension in the fascia due to trauma, posture, or inflammation. Connective tissues called fascia surround the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs of the body. Points of restriction in the fascia can place a great deal of pressure on nerves and muscles causing chronic pain.Practitioners of myofascial release employ long stretching strokes meant to balance tissue and muscle mechanics and improve joint range of motion in order to relieve pain.”

Change your training focus during high stress periods to work the body in a manner that calms the nervous system rather than focusing on strength and muscle work. By training the neurological system, you are able to help balance the high stress by nourishing the body and hormonal system through movement. Focus away from pure ‘strength’ training for the period of time that stress is high.  Lets take working your bicep muscle as an example; Many of the traditional training methodologies focus on ‘muscle’ work, while forgetting the ignition point for this to occur.

When you consider the evidence, that the muscles can only do their job after correct, clear signal from the nervous system and fascia health being integral to effectiveness of this communication, we begin to see how important caring for the body when stress is high. How managing your training practices to ‘support’ rather than ‘smash’ the system and body is so important along with clean eating and supplementation.

Yoga, Swimming, Meditation and Structured Breath practices are a great way to support the system during these high stress periods, be mindful that going harder in training sessions is NOT advised. By backing off and listening to your body, you can mitigate many long term health problems and function at a far better level overall.

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